April 16, 2018

Phoenix Haus is Demystifying Passive House Construction

The seeds of a sustainable construction industry have been sown in North America, and it’s an exciting time to see companies sprout and prepare for the big growth spurt ahead. As builders, architects and component suppliers seek to demystify Passive House not only for their clients but for each other, systems are emerging that break […]

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March 1, 2018

Fighting Climate Change at Home: Retrofit for Sustainability, Efficiency, and Comfort

The banner in the fight for climate progress is being carried by cities, and it takes all of us doing our part to get the work done. Emerging technologies have made it easier to live sustainably and comfortably at home, while solar power prices have dropped. Combined with high performance building supplies, solar homes have the potential to transition to full-electric power for heating as well as electric demand – removing the gas line completely.


Brooklyn SolarWorks and 475 High Performance Building Supply present the best-case solutions that New York City homeowners are using for future-proofing buildings. Using recent case studies, the presentation will cover everything from specifics of product installation to the economic case for common local improvements .

Who Should Attend:

  • Architects interested in Passive House, Net-Zero, and Deep-Energy Retrofit buildings
  • Homeowners interested in the details of retrofitting for sustainability and comfort
  • Consultants and Real Estate professionals interested in deepening their understanding of green building practices and economic paybacks


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December 11, 2017

Why Smart Cities Need Passive House Buildings

Passive House is the best building standard to bring the physical infrastructure of the smart city up to the level of the digital infrastructure. Thanks to Sidewalk Labs’ announcement of their massive waterfront project in Toronto and Bill Gate’s $80 million purchase in Arizona, news about smart city development has been popping up more frequently than ever. Most […]

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October 24, 2017

Passive House at Full Speed in NYC

We’ve been active in helping incubate the Passive House movement across the continent with particular emphasis on our home turf of New York City.  And the signs of activity have been encouraging – as we’ve reported over the years: June 2017 – Wall Street Journal Hears Passive House Buzz in New York November 2016 – Notes […]

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June 29, 2017

Path Toward Perfection: A Beautiful High-Performance Home in Egremont, MA

Beauty We often talk  about the extensive benefits of high-performance buildings: lower energy costs, more durable structures, reduced maintenance requirements and healthier interior environments.  High-performance strategies can improve the lives of building owners and occupants. Beauty is not as quantifiable perhaps, but it can bring delight to life.  And there is nothing more delightful than working on projects […]

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June 14, 2017

475 On-Site: Chris Corson on Precision, Efficiency, And The Future Of Building

EcoCor’s Founder talks Passive House, Pro Clima, and his path through high-performance construction Chris Corson, of EcoCor High Performance Building Systems, talks to us about how he developed EcoCor’s signature panelized construction techniques and Passive House Institute Certified building assembly. Chris makes the powerful point that even as other industries have made quantum leaps in technology and precision […]

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June 13, 2017

NYPH17 Passive House Conference & Expo – The Place to be June 16th

Make your way to 125 West 18th Street this Friday – and you won’t regret it.  It is going to be a great day of Passive House presentations, discussions, and networking from leading professionals, practitioners, policymakers, owners and suppliers from across New York and the world. From financial analysis of Passive projects to the feasibility of […]

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June 6, 2017

SANDEN SANCO2: The Water Heater to End All Water Heaters

After HVAC systems, water heaters can be among the biggest energy sinks in a building. Although high-performance building strategies can allow you to dramatically downsize your HVAC systems, supplying hot water can remain a challenge for those seeking to reduce building energy loads. Fortunately, the ideal solution to the challenge has arrived: the SANDEN SANCO2 Heat […]

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May 18, 2017

Good Products Aren’t Enough: It’s The System – So Let’s Change it.

What Are We Doing? Are we kidding ourselves? Trying to be a conscientious consumer, we try to pick sustainable materials and products – making more sustainable decisions – with the desire to “vote with our wallets” and promote “green industry” that will have beneficial effects in our fight against climate change and other environmental and social […]

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May 15, 2017

Slideshow: The PHI Conference in Vienna, Pro Clima, Gutex, And Bewiso

Five members of the 475 crew had the opportunity to travel to Europe over the last several weeks. The main target was to attend the 21st Annual  International Passive House Conference in Vienna. While we were in the neighborhood, we couldn’t resist meeting up with a few of our favorite manufacturing partners: PRO CLIMA, GUTEX, […]

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January 1, 2017

What’s 475 About – Reflections for a New Year

When people ask what do we do, one abbreviated response is: “We sell tape.” Though “we sell tape” describes a simple act, it is one with a potentially huge impact. We sell air-sealing tape as a specialized and critical component in a complete building enclosure airtightness system, which is the foundation of a low-energy building. […]

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November 26, 2016

4 Hurdles to Hitting Passive House Performance & How to Overcome Them

Passive House performance is the future of building.  As with any trip there are obstacles.   Yet professionals new to Passive House can be disoriented and may not readily see them.   What’s going on? The Passive House Paradox On the one hand Passive House is simply a rediscovery of basic building science with a more rigorous arrangement […]

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November 10, 2016

Avoiding the Abyss: Climate Crisis, Apollo 13 & Passive House in the Age of Donald Trump

  As the New York Times, post-election, reminds us: if Trump abandons the commitments of COP21 made in Paris, other countries like India will likely become disincentivized to act. If this comes to pass it will be impossible to prevent runaway global warming, with human population collapse, massive species extinction and unimaginable levels of suffering. Climate tipping points […]

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November 4, 2016

Project Spotlight – Prefab walls for a comfortable, cozy, and quiet Passive House in eastern British Columbia

Erik Olofsson of Erik Olofsson Construction has a vision of elegant and affordable design of the highest quality, reaching the Passive House standard for customers in his harsh Canadian climate.   Erik enlisted the help of Vincent Siu of Siu Architecture for the schematic design, and sought to deliver a highly predictable result with the pre-fab process – delivered […]

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November 1, 2016

Notes From New York: Lessons From A Growing Market

Passive House is growing around the world.  Yet some regions seem to be moving farther, faster.  Why? 475’s own Ken Levenson had a chance to explore this question when asked to talk about what’s happening in the New York region as the keynote speaker at the recent Passive House Massachusetts Symposium in Boston.   What […]

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September 13, 2016

NYSERDA Supports Passive House

In support of New York State’s aggressive carbon reduction goals the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority’s new incentives are structured to support a “fabric first” approach and then push toward net zero buildings.  NYSERDA recognizes the power of Passive House in establishing very energy efficient, resilient, healthy and comfortable buildings as the basis of […]

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March 28, 2016

JLC Reports on Success of Foam-Free Unvented Flat Roof Assembly

475 enables more robust assemblies that are less toxic. Such was the case with the Whitchurch home in northern Vermont – working with the owners and their dedicated Passive House team at Montpelier Construction. The walls were a variation on the I-Joist outrigger configuration with dense pack cellulose between DB+ membrane inboard and SOLITEX Mento Plus […]

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March 1, 2016

See You at BuildingEnergy Boston 2016

Next week is NESEA’s BuildingEnergy Boston Conference & Trade Show, March 9-10 at the Seaport World Trade Center. The annual event attracts over 3,500 practitioners, and focuses on sustainable energy practices in the built environment. Since the start of our company 475 has participated as a vendors and we love coming back each year to […]

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January 26, 2016

Historic Masonry: Notes and Details (updated)

475 in many ways started with historic masonry retrofits, and with our HQ surrounded by Brownstone Brooklyn, we are helping a great many of these 100+ year old buildings get high-performance/Passive House retrofits for the 21st century.  Our deep interest in making these retrofits work, has led us to produce public interest articles, eBooks, details and extensive […]

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December 15, 2015

Learning from PHIUS

What draws many of us to Passive House is its simplicity, its clarity, its predictability, and it’s drastic impact on comfort and energy efficiency.  But  achieving simplicity requires great repetition, practice and lots of training.  So last week attending the Passive House Institute US (PHIUS)’s Certified Builder training course in Yonkers, NY, was another good […]

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November 29, 2015

Passive NYC: Making the Pathway to 80 by 50

Passive NYC, A snapshot of low energy building opportunities, barriers, & resources, published by the the Building Energy Exchange, demonstrates that Passive House is a force to be reckoned with: in planning the future of our cities, at every level of policy making, and in building design. And 475, with our HQ in Brooklyn, is proud to […]

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November 16, 2015

Lamilux Skylights at ABX 2015, Boston, Nov. 17-19

The latest in skylight performance from Lamilux will be on display at ABX 2015 in Boston from November 17 to 19. Please stop by Booth 877  to see samples and speak with US reps Oliver Klein and Floris Keverling Buisman from 475 High Performance Building Supply. Roof daylighting has many benefits, but can also be risky. […]

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August 27, 2015

Obama Endorses Passive House Initiative: This is BIG

In stunning news from Washington DC this week, the White House announced as part of a comprehensive plan to bring renewable energy and energy efficiency to households across the U.S. , that New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR) in collaboration with NYSERDA, is launching a Passive House track:  The White House press release makes […]

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August 26, 2015

A Must Read Book – Net Zero Buildings: Passive House + Renewables

475 is always looking to enable more efficient, more robust high-performance buildings: Passive Houses and the spectrum of greater efficiency leading to Passive House.  The mantra is reduce the energy demand, reduce the need to produce power, increase the resiliency.   But let’s face it, “Net Zero Buildings” as a term has incredible emotional pull.  Never mind […]

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August 24, 2015

Lamilux PR-60: The Glass Roof You’ve Been Waiting For

The benefits of roof daylighting are numerous. Daylight systems increase productivity, stores sell more products, and students perform better. Roof daylighting can be an aesthetically powerful design element. They can provide natural ventilation and can even be energy positive when done correctly. They can extend the benefits of daylighting deep to the interior of a building. Persuasive […]

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August 10, 2015

475 Joins NYC ACRE – NYC’s Leading Clean Energy Incubator

475 High Performance Building Supply is proud to announce we have been accepted as a “virtual tenant” of NYC ACRE, the premier incubator in New York City for business startups focused on energy transformation. Founded by Mayor Bloomberg in PlaNYC 2030 and funded in part by NYSERDA, NYC ACRE forms a crucible for innovation and economic […]

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July 30, 2015

The Service Cavity – Making Airtight Construction Easy

We know that the importance of airtightness is second only to keeping the rain out.  This is because airtightness greatly effects indoor air quality, thermal comfort, and energy efficiency – while protecting the enclosure from moisture damage (see here).  Given these pretty convincing reasons, what should our airtightness target be, and how does a service cavity help […]

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